Life really does pass in the blink of an eye. It feels like the just the other day when I rang our school bell and exited from a building that I’d spent twelve years of my life in. It was with excitement that I looked to what the future had in store for me.
I had been accepted to Rhodes University to study Journalism, and I only had final exams ahead of me. It’s a good memory, but there are also many bad memories that I find hard to ignore.
Children and teenagers can be ruthless, never more so than at an all girls school. And if you like me, achieved academically and in sports, but were soft, life was difficult.
I didn’t particularly have a good school experience as you may have gathered. My father was a teacher and superintendant at our brother school, and I grew up on school grounds. I was always told that as a teacher’s daughter my actions, however good or bad, reflected on my dad.
I wasn’t a rebel, like the other teachers daughters. I behaved, I conformed, and I largely kept to myself. And being the good teacher’s daughter, I often found myself used as a scapegoat.
On more than one occasion I was blamed for another’s actions. Attempts to join into after school activities usually turned out badly. You see, if I went to a party, the boys would come up to me and ask me if it was okay to smoke or drink.
This was usually followed by whether I was going to tell my dad. Idiots, did they really think that the teachers were fools and didn’t know what was going on. And if kids were then bust, well, I had to have told on them. Generally I didn’t even know about who was having a party, let alone where it was taking place. I stopped going out during my grade nine year.
I didn’t get asked to school dances. I wasn’t asked out on dates due to some stupid unspoken rule that the boys made. My father’s daughters were off limits. Finding a date to a dance was a nightmare. My matric dance partner spent a good hour on his phone at my dance.
I watched girls complain bitterly about other girls behaviour, and yet when given the opportunity to speak their concerns, would lie through their teeth. Heaven forbid you had a backbone. I had too much integrity not to point out that what was being said had all happened. Funny how, my hockey coach couldn’t remember her daughter having a fit and walking off the field during a game.
I know our opponents thought it hilarious. I found it embarrassing. And myself and a friend took the blame for an enquiring made into her unruly behaviour. I hadn’t known about the matter before the coach brought it to our attention.
I also remember a friend complain to me about how she deserved the award I had worked so hard for. It’s laughable considering that she was head girl, and I only a prefect.
Does it bother me now, perhaps! I like to think I’ve moved on, but do we really ever let go of past hurts and can old wounds heal.
So the real question is will I be going back to my reunion. And my answer, I don’t think so!
Although there are people I would like to see, I realise that there is a time when one needs to wave goodbye to their past. I could go back to look at all the girls and lament the fact that I chose the wrong friendship circle, or I could be silently thankful that I made it out in one piece.
I don’t feel the need to be petty and see whose gained weight, or who never left my home town. I’ve made something of myself, and my family are proud of me, and isn’t that all that matters.
And I can be happy in the knowledge that there are many girls and boys who feel the same as I do.
Perhaps I will change my mind, and if I do, there might be another article in it. Either way, I look forward to my future, with a wonderful man, true friends, and endless possibilities awaiting me.
What are your thoughts on high school reunions? Did you attend yours - and if you did =- what was your experience like? Share your stories below.
This guest article was contributed by Women24 reader, Candice Wiggett.